Thursday, March 26, 2015

Answer to Question: DUN Nov 2014



PKR to write to CM on proposal to table motion against hudud

Posted on March 26, 2015, Thursday


KUCHING: PKR Sarawak has resolved to write to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to propose the tabling of a joint motion during the coming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting to declare that hudud will not be implemented in Sarawak.

Its chairman Baru Bian said the letter would be sent to the chief minister by today and hoped that the elected representatives from both sides of the political divide would agree to the motion, considering the alarm the issue has caused among Sarawakians.


He said in the event the chief minister “is not minded” to table the non-partisan motion on behalf of the House, PKR state assembly representatives will cause the motion to be tabled for deliberation and adoption by the state legislative body.

Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said a special meeting of the PKR Sarawak State Leadership Council was called on Tuesday, which was attended by 25 out of 29 leaders including five Muslim leaders, to discuss the attempt by PAS to push for hudud in Kelantan.

“It was unanimously resolved that PKR Sarawak repeats and reiterates our firm stand against the attempt by PAS to amend the Federal Constitution for the implementation of hudud.

“We would like to reassure Sarawakians, that in matters affecting Sarawak and our people, we are ‘Sarawakians First’,” he told a press conference at the state PKR headquarters here yesterday.

Baru said PKR Sarawak recognised that hudud is part and parcel of the Syariah, which is found in the Koran.

However, PKR Sarawak stands firmly against the implementation of hudud in Malaysia and Sarawak for the reason that the Federal Constitution and not the Syariah is the supreme law of the Federation, he affirmed.

In addition, Baru said the Rukunegara, which sets out the fundamental principles of governance directed towards the creation of a just and democratic society, reinforced the supremacy of our Federal Constitution through these tenets: ‘Upholding the Constitution’ and ‘Rule of Law’.

He said during the talks leading to the formation of Malaysia, the non-Muslim communities of Sarawak had voiced their reservations about Islam being the religion of the Federation, adding that the absence of a state religion was key to Sarawak’s agreement to join in the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

“Furthermore, there is enough evidence in our historical documents and legal judgments to establish that Sarawak had signed the Malaysia Agreement with a secular state.

“The founding father, ‘Bapa Malaysia’ Tunku Abdul Rahman stated it plainly in Parliament: ‘I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood, we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the state’ [Hansard, May 1, 1958].”

The implementation of hudud requires the amendment of the Federal Constitution, particularly Article 4. In this regard, Baru said Point 16 of the 18/20-Point Agreement should be highlighted, such as the power to amend the Sarawak Constitution or the Federal Constitution insofar as the changes affect the rights of Sarawak belongs exclusively to the people of Sarawak.

“This protection is reinforced in Article 161E of the Federal Constitution, which provides safeguards for the constitutional position of Sabah and Sarawak, whereby no amendment of the Constitution can be made without the concurrence of the Governor if it is to affect the constitution and jurisdiction of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak and the religion in the state.”

Baru pointed out that these safeguards were promulgated to ensure that Sarawakians’ rights cannot be taken away from them without their consent.

“With such hurdles to clear, it is obvious that the framers of the Sarawak and Federal Constitutions had every intention of preserving Sarawak’s autonomy and our freedom of religion.”

Among those present at the press conference were PKR Sarawak deputy chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh, vice-chairmen See Chee How, Ali Biju and Boniface Willy Tumek.


Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/03/26/pkr-to-write-to-cm-on-proposal-to-table-motion-against-hudud/#ixzz3VSJLoyze

Baru to Mara: Reply to my letter



Posted on March 26, 2015, Thursday
KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has requested Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) to reply to his letter enquiring whether it had withdrawn the rule that restricts non-Muslim religious activities in all junior science college (MRSM) in the state.

“I cannot access their (Mara) Internet website (to check whether the rule has been withdrawn). It could either mean they have withdrawn the rule or they are trying to hide something.

“I don’t want to make a conclusion, not until there is a black and white reply from Mara. We want to clear this out, and they must be transparent because it had invoked a lot of apprehensions among many parents,” Baru told a press conference at state PKR headquarters here yesterday.

In his letter to Abdul Wahid Ahmad – the director of secondary education at Mara’s head office in Kuala Lumpur, Baru requested Mara to explain if the “additional rules” for non-Muslims students existed.

Baru, who is also state PKR chairman, said it was important to find out the truth as he had earlier said he planned to take legal action against Mara if the rules were not withdrawn.

The issue is Rule 9 in the MRSM guide book for new students. It stated that all religious activities, with the exception of Islamic religious activities, are totally prohibited within the campus.

The rule prohibited the display of religious symbols like crucifix necklace, and students are required to seek permission to attend religious activities outside the campus.

Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin directed Mara to revoke with immediate effect all regulations banning non-Muslims religious activities within MRSM campuses in Sarawak.

The ban was not only opposed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem but Dayak leaders across the political spectrum.

It was reported that Adenan summoned Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, whose ministry has jurisdiction over Mara, to Kuching to discuss the issue.

While Shafie denied there were religious curbs in Sarawak MRSMs, he told a press conference after meeting Adenan that if there were such regulations, “it is not right” and Mara would withdraw them.

A few days later, however, the minister was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying that “MRSM had never imposed any additional rules that prevented students from following or practising their own religion”.

DAP vice chairman Leon Jimat Donald raised the issue when he voiced the concerns of some Dayak parents who had children studying in MRSM Betong last October.


Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/03/26/baru-to-mara-reply-to-my-letter/#ixzz3VSIbAyu8

No Pakatan Rakyat means no alternative to BN, says Baru



Posted on March 26, 2015, Thursday


KUCHING: Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian believed many Sarawakians would like to see a strong and united Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the state.

This was despite state DAP considering quitting from the pact following PAS’ decision to table hudud law in Kelantan.

“I think Sarawakians will be very unhappy (with the dissolution of Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak) because without unity in PR Sarawak, there will be no alternative to the Barisan Nasional (BN)

“As far as Sarawak PKR is concerned, we would like to preserve that unity,” he told a press conference at state PKR headquarters here yesterday.

Baru, who is also Ba Kelalan assemblyman and a lawyer, said this when was asked to comment on state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s recent statement that he (Chong) could see no other option but the breakup of PR Sarawak following the tabling of the hudud law by PAS.

“In light of the ‘back-stabbing’ by PAS in the tabling of the hudud Bill in Kelantan, it is now either PAS or DAP in Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak.

“Given the said betrayal, DAP Sarawak will have no choice but to consider taking the final step to leave Pakatan Rakyat,” said Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

It is understood that the state DAP leadership would announce its decision whether to leave PR Sarawak this Friday.

Baru said considering that the state DAP would only decide on the matter on Friday, he would wait until then before responding accordingly.


Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/03/26/no-pakatan-rakyat-means-no-alternative-to-bn-says-baru/#ixzz3VSFdxPPu

PKR CALLS FOR A UNITED NON-PARTISAN SARAWAKIAN FRONT TO SAFEGUARD THE CONSTITUTION AND OUR SECULAR STATE


PRESS STATEMENT
25 MARCH 2015

A special meeting of the PKR Sarawak State Leadership Council was called last night to discuss the attempt by PAS to push for hudud in Kelantan.

It was unanimously resolved that PKR Sarawak repeats and reiterates our firm stand against the attempt by PAS to amend the Federal Constitution for the implementation of hudud.

We would like to reassure all Sarawakians, that in matters affecting Sarawak and our people, we are ‘Sarawakians First’.

On this premise, and acknowledging the alarm with which Sarawakians view the issue of hudud, PKR Sarawak has resolved to write to the Right Honourable Chief Minister to propose the tabling of a joint motion in the coming Sarawak State Assembly sitting to declare that hudud will not be implemented in Sarawak.

In the event the CM is not minded to table the nonpartisan motion on behalf of the House, our PKR State Assembly representatives will cause the motion to be tabled for the deliberation and adoption of the state legislative body.

At the outset, we recognize that hudud is part and parcel of the Syariah, which is found in the Koran. However, PKR Sarawak stands firmly against the implementation of hudud in Malaysia and Sarawak for the reasons that follow.

Principally, we turn to the Federal Constitution, the document upon which the Federation of Malaysia is founded, to support our assertion. Article 4 of the Constitution declares: “This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation…”. As explained by Raja Azlan Shah in 2003: “This essential feature of the Federal Constitution ensures that the social contract between the various races of our country embodied in the independence Constitution of 1957 is safeguarded and forever enures to the Malaysian people as a whole, for their benefit.” Therefore, the Federal Constitution - and not the Syariah - is the supreme law of the Federation.

In addition, our Rukunegara, which sets out the fundamental principles of governance directed towards the creation of a just and democratic society, declares these tenets: ‘Upholding the Constitution’ and ‘Rule of Law’. These tenets reinforce the supremacy of our Federal Constitution.

During the talks leading to the formation of Malaysia, the non-Muslim communities of Sarawak had voiced their reservations about Islam being the religion of the Federation. It was finally agreed as the first of the 18/20-Point Agreement that ‘While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia, there should be no State religion in Sarawak, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to Sarawak’. The absence of a state religion was key in Sarawak’s agreement to join in the formation Malaysia in 1963.

Furthermore, there is enough evidence in our historical documents and legal judgments to establish that Sarawak had signed the Malaysia Agreement with a secular state. The founding father, ‘Bapa Malaysia’ Tunku Abdul Rahman stated it plainly in Parliament: ‘I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic State as it is generally understood, we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the State’ [Hansard, 1 May 1958].

The implementation of Hudud requires the amendment of the Federal Constitution, particularly Article 4. In this regard, Point 16 of the 18/20-Point Agreement should be highlighted: that no amendment, modification or withdrawal of any special safeguard granted to Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak) should be made by the Central Government without the positive concurrence of the Government of the state of North Borneo/Sarawak. Therefore, the power to amend the Sarawak Constitution or the Federal Constitution insofar as the changes affect the rights of Sarawak belongs exclusively to the people of Sarawak.

This protection is reinforced in Article 161E of the Federal Constitution, which provides safeguards for the constitutional position of Sabah and Sarawak, whereby no amendment of the Constitution can be made without the concurrence of the Governor if it is to affect the constitution and jurisdiction of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak, and the religion in the State.

These safeguards were promulgated to ensure that our rights cannot be taken from us without our consent. With such hurdles to clear, it is obvious that the framers of the Sarawak and Federal Constitutions had every intention of preserving Sarawak’s autonomy and our freedom of religion.

Hudud has no place in Malaysia, most especially in Sarawak.

MAJLIS PIMPINAN NEGERI
PKR SARAWAK


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stake your job on solving education issues too, Nik Nazmi tells minister


Selangor education exco Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad wants Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to not only fix students’ performance in international tests, but also deal with other problems affecting the education system. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 24, 2015.

Selangor education exco Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad wants Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to not only fix students’ performance in international tests, but also deal with other problems affecting the education system. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 24, 2015.
The Selangor government has told Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh that he should also stake his job on solving other problems plaguing the education system, not just Malaysian students’ performance in international tests.
Selangor education exco Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said other systematic abuses and shortcomings continued to go unaddressed.
"These included poor training and management of teachers, repeated political interference in curriculum, as well as alleged improprieties in education-related procurement and instances of prejudice against minority students.
"It would be even more appropriate if the minister could pledge to resolve these long-standing problems and also be willing to put his job on the line in resolving them," he said today in a statement.
Idris yesterday said he was confident that students would perform better in this year's Pisa and TIMSS after dismal performances which saw Malaysian education rankings drop when compared with students in other parts of the region.
"I challenge you. I say that when the Pisa and TIMSS results come out this year, we will do better. I am giving this guarantee as a minister.
"I am putting myself at stake because I know we are going to perform better," he said in Parliament.
Idris declined to comment when asked what he would do if the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) results showed a decline instead of an improvement.
Nik Nazmi commended Idris's move to put his job on the line to guarantee better results in Pisa and TIMSS.
"Too few cabinet ministers in the Umno-Barisan Nasional government are willing to take personal responsibility over their respective portfolios.
"We plan to hold Idris to his pledge and eagerly await details of his plan to ensure that Malaysian students do better in the Pisa and TIMSS," he said in a statement today.
Nik Nazmi also reminded Idris of the anxiety felt by parents, educators and employers that went beyond the two global assessment tests.
He said the problems in Malaysia's education were much bigger than how students performed in Pisa and TIMSS, although the decline in performance was worrying. – March 24, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/stake-your-job-on-solving-education-issues-too-nik-nazmi-tells-minister#sthash.SX30qLao.dpuf

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What has become of those confiscated logs and machinery?


21 Mar 07:00 PM

 by Jimmy Adit

SARAWAK FOCUS: Since Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s don’t-mess-with-me warning to illegal loggers and timber thieves, enforcers have been confiscating logs by the truck-loads as well as heavy machinery.
Never mind that no one has been arrested. We now know even Adenan himself believes there is something fishy about all those jungle operations and raids, which thus far have failed to nap the culprits.
Somehow those people involved in cutting down the trees and transporting them just knew when to do the disappearing act, leaving the logs and the heavy machinery for the enforcers to bring back as trophies to declare to the media for public consumption.
Success after success of those raids by the enforcers have made it to the pages of the local newspapers, complete with pictures of the contraband – many times of the enforcers, too, proudly standing by. 
The illegal loggers have had years of “freedom” plundering the state’s forests with impunity and making their millions, so much so that even the global timber market is aware of their activities.
Now, with the chief minister taking a tough stand and showing that he knows the intricacies of the illegal activities in the state’s forests, Sarawakians kind of herald the success of the enforcers, which is something they never could imagine before now.
But not all Sarawakians are convinced. Wanita PKR vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni is one person who is unconvinced that due conclusion has been made for all those confiscated logs and machinery.
Voon was reported as saying she was baffled by the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of illegal logs confiscated by the authorities. 
She said the issue had been raised a few times with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation and the Forest Department but there had been no positive response.
Why Sarawak Forestry Corporation and the Forest Department had not been responsive all this while is anybody’s guess, but this time Voon surely got an immediate response to her queries. 
Forest Department director Sapuan Ahmad said the department’s standard operating procedure (SOP) was to hand over all seized illegal logs to Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd (Harwood), which is a government-linked company, to be disposed of in the domestic market through open tender.
Finally, there is an answer, only it raises more questions: Where are the open tender notices? Who are the successful bidders? And for how much?
What become of the confiscated machinery – tractors, ghost trucks and bulldozers? Auctioned off? Or returned to their owners?
So many questions, but too few answers.
- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/What-has-become-of-those-confiscated-logs-and-machinery#sthash.v1iOOyc8.dpuf